Futebol de Pelada, literally translated Naked Football, is not, as the words suggest, playing a football (soccer) game while naked. Futebol Pelado is the purest form of football. Playing football/soccer with an old and worn leather ball on a field without grass by barefooted players. A practice still very popular in Brazil. There are many “clubes de pelada”.
It is so popular, that each year a serious contest is organised. The Copa Pará Amazônia de Futebol Pelada (Pará Amazon Naked Football Cup) is a sport event, which brings the 22 best and most traditional “naked football” teams of Metropolitan Belém do Pará together. This great event is already in its 3rd edition and the “nação peladeira” (naked community) has the honour to enjoy a genuine championship for amateur football and to show the power of futebol pelada.
And the Muses? Brazil shouldn’t be Brazil if there was no beauty contest. With each championship or whatever the occasion (Miss Brasil, Miss Bumbum, Miss Carnival, the Queen of the Queens and so on) there is a contest for the beauties or muses representing the clubs.
This year, readers of the daily newspaper Jornal Amazônia elected the Musa da Pelada Amazônia (no not the naked muse, but the mascot of “naked football”). Each of the 22 teams participating in the league showed their candidate.
But before we go and have a look at the muses, let’s talk about the essence of “futebol pelada”. (Don’t skip this part to jump to the photo galleries of the muses. You can’t enjoy the muses when you know nothing about futebol pelada) Several Brazilian blogs informed me about the rules and habits of this pure form of football.
In Brazil, on every street corner we have several football fields, small, primitive ones and sometimes more professional and larger ones, some are in the middle of the streets, and has slipper-shaped goalposts, sometimes just a stone or brick or a plastic bottle as goalpost. Some have lines, but often the lines are imaginary.
The main rules:
Field – Any space larger than your bedroom suffices. Lighting and comfort are items that are of no importance. The terrain varies, ranging from a football field itself to a vacant lot not necessarily plain or flat, usually full of mud. Or in the street, be it asphalted, proto-paved, fully rutted, covered by paving stone, sand, etc.. In other words, one can practice this noble sport everywhere. When there are no goalposts in the “field”, the size of the goals is decided on the basis of the screaming negotiations between the teams.
Ball – The ball can be anything remotely spherical. Even a football serves. In desperation, they use anything that rolls like a stone, an empty lunch box, a plastic bottle or one’s little brother. I even saw them footballing with a papier-mâché ball hold together with elastic bands.
Goalposts – The goalposts can be done with whatever is at hand: bricks, cobblestones, sticks, folded shirts, slippers, school books and even one’s younger brother.
Players – The number of players is undefined. Varies between 3 and 70 players on each side. Much depends on the available space, climatic conditions and the availability of time, because not everyone is all the time available. Preferably, an even number of players is needed, but as always one of the teams has a crack, and the other is with an extra player, usually one that has the lowest notion of football.
Arbitration – There is no judge. The marking of faults and other irregularities is through the ancient art of the screaming and yelling. There is no formal punishment as cards, in other words the only rule on fouls that counts is that there are no faults. The play just continues and is never interrupted.
Interruption – In street football, the game can only be stopped in 3 circumstances:
a) If the ball flies through a window. In this case the players must wait 10 minutes for the voluntary return of the ball. If not, the players must designate volunteers to knock on the door and request the return, first politely and then with threats of predation.
b) When a hot girl passes the “football field”.
c) When heavy vehicles or buses pass. Bicycles and Fuscas can be kicked with the ball.
Game Time – Fully undefined, but a relevant factor is the influence of climate. Rainfall often prevents a full match. Or, in some cases, the rain becomes even more enjoyable. If you are under age, playing time depends, of course, of the humour of your mother.
The game ends when;
a) The sun sets and it is getting really dark.
b) The owner of the ball picks up his ball and quits, usually angry because he was losing.
c) Mothers are calling or drag their sons away by the ear to start homework.
d) The ball falls in pieces.
e) The ball lands on a neighbour’s patio, who has an aggressive pit-bull to safeguard his garden.
As you can see a very impressive sport.
Millions might sit in front of the TV and the players might have millions in the bank, and passions might move crowds, but football also has another face. “Naked footbal”, more discreet, but as important as the other. It is the road to amateur football, weekend practitioners, professional football and finally becoming a famous football player.
And the Muses da Pelada Amazônia? In this contest is held, the votes are in and the winning Muse received a photo at the centre page of the Christmas edition of the newspaper Jornal Amazônia, a jewel, a motorcycle and a professional photo session.
I made a selection of the candidates. The first gallery is of course for the winner of this contest, Graziele Silva Leão. The other galleries are just my personal choice. If you want to see the galleries of all 22 candidates go to: Musa da Pelada 2012.
But first the winner of the contest the mascot of the team “Os Cobras”, the 20 year old university student Graziele Silva Leão.
My next choice is Tainara Souza Cerqueira the mascot of the team “Invencível”. Tainara is 21 years old and a Bodybuilding Instructor.
The next photo gallery is for the 24 years old receptionist Tatiane de Almeida Garcia, mascot of the team “Vira Copos”.
And last but not least, the 24 years old physical education teacher Nilza Helea Silva do Nascimento, the mascot of football team “Figueirense”.
If you want to see the representatives of Brazil’s professional football teams read my previous article: “Mascots of Brazilian Football“.